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Six Nations officials issue upbeat update on status of France vs Scotland

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images)

Next Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations match in Paris between unbeaten France and Scotland has been given the green light to go ahead as planned following the latest review regarding the recent virus outbreak among the French squad.  


Ten players, including the star of the tournament Antoine Dupont, and three members of staff, who included head coach Fabien Galthie, had tested positive for Covid since their return to France following the February 14 win over Ireland in Dublin. 

Those test results cast doubt over whether next weekend’s game would proceed as scheduled at the Stade de France. However, the outlook improved with the latest round of testing and now Six Nations officials are confident that France will now be able to play this weekend. 

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A statement read: “Further to a meeting of the Six Nations testing oversight group this morning [Wednesday] to review the latest tests results of the French squad, the Six Nations confirm the plans to stage the France vs Scotland match as originally scheduled this coming Sunday. We continue to monitor the situation very closely and are in regular contact with both unions.”

It was Tuesday morning when the French rugby federation reported an upswing in their testing fortunes, explaining that their latest round of testing on those who were still in camp produced an all-clear.

A social media post by the French federation stated: “Update on the health situation. Following PCR tests carried out last night [Monday], all players and management tested negative for Covid-19. These results relate to management and players who had not tested positive.”

Gaetan Balot, Thierry Paiva, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos had all been called into a revamped France squad to help combat the loss of players who have tested positive ahead. The French go into their game versus Scotland still on course for the Grand Slam following away wins over Ireland and Italy.  


The news will come as a relief to Scotland coach Gregor Townsend, who feared he would be forced to do without ten of his top stars if the game was postponed until next week. Townsend was concerned he would be barred from selecting big-name figures like Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell by their English and French clubs if the game was moved to the fallow week.

“We’re delighted that the game is going ahead,” said Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson. “It’s important that we are allowed to prepare properly for that game. “I was in Oriam (Scotland’s training base) earlier this week and we have had a really good week’s preparation for the game. All the boys want to play it and I’m delighted the French want to play it too.”


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